Thousand Foot Krutch - The End is Where We Begin
Thousand Foot Krutch is back with their highly-anticipated follow up to 2009's successful release Welcome to the Masquerade. It is their sixth full-length release, the number alone speaking to the longevity and perseverance of the group.
They formed in 1997 in the small town of Peterborough, Ontario, Canada, and currently the band's frontman, Trevor McNevan, is the only originating member of the group. However, their permanent lineup hasn't changed since 2003, with Joel Bruyere (bass) and Steve Augustine (drums) added in 2002 and 2003, respectively. Nick Baumhardt (now with Stellar Kart) was their touring guitarist from 2003-2009, when Ty Dietzler - the current touring guitarist - replaced him.
In 2003, the band hit big with Christian label Tooth & Nail, signing a contract for five full-length albums. They released Phenomenon (2003), The Art of Breaking (2005), The Flame in All of Us (2007), and Welcome to the Masquerade (2009) under the label. However, their contract came to an end obviously with this release. Trevor, in an interview with Marc Webb, notes that "We just felt like this was something we wanted to do ourselves. We really wanted to do it independently, and be able to connect with people on a closer level than we can when we are on the label...we wanted to be able to put out music more often, more reasonable and reasonably priced. Give away free music if we wanted to, and just have the options to do those things."
Cue The End is Where We Begin.
The opening track, aptly named The Introduction is computer automated, laying down the framework for this album. It describes a overall theme that later comes through listening. Computer-automated voice amplifies the message, "If you don't stand for something, you might fall for anything. The end is where we begin."
What fans will discover as classic guitar riffs explodes with We Are, track 2 of this album. It's almost an attest in a fight for struggle. "If we don't stop this, no one will," McNevan sings. Previous fans of this band are likely to enjoy this, a firing track TFK is not new to, and thus definitely not inexperienced to making a good one.
Light Up the Sky, is next, an irrevocable, obvious throwback and "tipping of the hat," if you will, to TFK's roots. McNevan brings back his style of signature rap for the verses and a low pre-chorus "Excuse me while I..." before his long scream-but-not-really of the title track. It's a fist-pumper for sure, and a terrific smile-bringer during the fast rap parts.
The album's title track is up next, slowing it down a little bit from the heated intensity of the previous track. There's a rhythmic beginning that will have you nodding your head at first listen. The song talks about being changed for the better, and doing something about it. It ties in to the action-y feel of the album, i.e, beginnings. McNevan sings, "I can't deny it, it's like a riot, and I can't keep it quiet."
Rock-chart climbing single Let the Sparks Fly, is next, the return of Trevor's laugh fans may have remembered from 2010's Christmas special cover of Heat Miser. It's definitely worthy of being the first single, and may have you thinking of Fire it Up from the previous release. It's everything fans have come to love in a TFK rock song, a great intro, great guitar, and a catchy chorus. The lyrics may be a little overlooked in a song like this ("No more hesitating, let the sparks fly, baby!") but it's enjoyable nonetheless.
Track number six -I Get Wicked- comes out next, a slow, almost relaxing into leading into an emphasis on "wicked" from the vocals. The verse will definitely have you tapping your foot, but again, the lyrics are not heart-stopping deep on this one. "I am now awake, uncontrolled and unashamed," McNevan bellows on this one, definitely another anthem. The theme is becoming evident now.
Ballads are always present on a TFK album, and Be Somebody is surely not a disappointment. McNevan writes about the comfort that comes with a relationship with God, providing some thought-provoking lyrics as well. "When I could only see the floor, you made my window a door," summarizes the message of the song. It's heartfelt and real, relate-able and honest.
The album splits here, with another intro track, definitely making you think of the first half of the album being done. It's called This is a Warning (Intro) and is based on strings and builds up to a climax.
Next up is Courtesy Call, not at all a second-half lesser value. It's another anthem, perfect for workouts or sports events. "When it hits it shakes me to the core and makes me stronger than before," sings McNevan, again referring to some sort of struggle the common people are fighting.
War of Change is next, a recognizable track to those who downloaded it on NoiseTrade the first weekend in December. The band gave it away as a free track in light of an extremely successful Kickstarter campaign, and TFK fans have been listening to it for the past three months enjoying it. McNevan brings some fast-singing back on this track, with impeccable drums and an insane breakdown: "This is a warning, like it or not. I break down, like a record spinning, gotta get up! So back off, this is a warning, like it or not, I'm tired of listening, I'm warning you, don't try to get up." The theme is far more than established here. It's what it is: a war, of change.
Eleventh track off the album Down will play next, and if you haven't tapped your foot yet to this album, you will on this one. McNevan opens the track with a certain type of yell prior fans might automatically assume with TFK's style. He brings back rap here as well, and an interesting guitar riff provides much contrast. "People used to tell me that I'm on my own - that I'd never make a difference on this microphone" can provide an example of how power-packed this track really is. Any hard music fan could appreciate this song.
Soft acoustic guitar and "whoa oh's" fill your ears next as another TFK ballad comes up, this one aptly titled All I Need to Know. One of the best lyrically written songs on this album, it relates to the awesome power of God and, not unlike Be Somebody, the comfort of that relationship. "I don't know which way the wind will blow, but you're here with me, and that's all I need to know." It's also one of the most interesting piece musically and vocally, McNevan's voice smooths this one to a perfect polish.
"I don't think I need you anymore, take all your words and your lies and just beat it," is the first part of the chorus of Fly on the Wall. It's another anthem of sorts, casting off a past relationship or way of life and becoming something greater as a result of learning the past. Lyrically, the best off this album. "If I could just see it all, just like a fly on the wall, would I be able to accept what I can't control?"
Acoustic guitar fills yours ears next, as So Far Gone, a soft ballad love song, reminds past fans of My Home from the Flame in All of Us record. The guitar is soothing and chilling at the same time, and even though the rhymes may be cheesy, it's still a enjoyable song.
The album ends with a continuation of the first intro track, The Outroduction. Again, it's a computerized track with building drums and strings in the background, and encouragement to stand.
Overall, a solid album displaying many sides of the TFK, each song a facet to the gem that makes up the Canadian band's most recent release.
- We Are
- Let the Sparks Fly
- Fly on the Wall
- All I Need to Know
(Trevor quote retrieved from ChristianRock123.)